‘They’re everything I am’: DACA recipients fear deportation for parents

Mar 7, 2017, 4:30 AM | Updated: 9:38 am
A supporter holds up a placard during a rally for Jeanette Vizguerra, a Mexican woman seeking to av...

A supporter holds up a placard during a rally for Jeanette Vizguerra, a Mexican woman seeking to avoid deportation from the United States, outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Centennial, Colo. U.S. immigration authorities have denied Vizguerra's request to remain in the country. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX — Recipients of a program that offers protection from deportation and work permits are speaking out about what it’s like to live in the United States under a Donald Trump presidency.

Ezequiel Santos, who came to the U.S. when he was 2 years old, is one of the more than 27,000 undocumented young immigrants in Arizona who’ve been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a federal program that allows young immigrants who entered the country as children to stay and work. He said thanks to the DACA program, he has been able to work and attend a local community college.

“It’s something I’m very proud of,” he said about attending classes. “I’ve been trying to take advantage of DACA to the fullest.”

Though he’s protected from deportation, Santos said he feels uneasy to know many undocumented immigrants, including his parents, are still at risk of deportation. This comes at a time when Trump has expanded the list of undocumented immigrants who are priority for deportation.

Vasthy Lamadrid, a student at Arizona State University, is another DACA recipient from Arizona. She’s protected from deportation, but her parents, who’ve been in the U.S. for more than a decade, are not. She said it worries her to know they could be deported.

“My parents are the reason I’m here,” she said. “They’re everything I am and without my parents, then I am pretty much nothing. They are my family. They are who I love.”

Though Trump has said he’s not getting rid of the DACA program right now, he wants to continue to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo provided by Arizona Humane Society)...

Arizona Humane Society offering half-off adoption fees for all pets through Sunday

As the Arizona Humane Society continues to care for an overflow of animals, adoption fees for all of its pets will be cut down through Sunday.
20 hours ago
Stacey Abrams (AP file photo/Steve Helber)...

Stacey Abrams’ group wipes out medical debts for thousands in Arizona, 4 other states

A political organization led by prominent Democrat Stacey Abrams donated $1.34 million to wipe out medical debts for thousands in Arizona and four other states.
20 hours ago
Christian Solorio (Alhambra Elementary School District photo)...

Board of Supervisors appoints Christian Solorio to vacant Arizona House seat

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday appointed Christian Solorio to fill the Arizona House seat vacated by fellow Democrat Raquel Teran.
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/ADOT)...

Westbound Interstate 10 reopens in Chandler following crash

A crash closed westbound Interstate 10 in Chandler for about an hour on Wednesday afternoon during rush hour.
20 hours ago
(Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona Cardinals game to jam freeways Thursday evening for commuters

The Arizona Cardinals host the Green Bay Packers in the weekly Thursday night NFL game, an event that will jam metro Phoenix freeways during rush hour.
20 hours ago
(Tempe Police Department Photo/Facebook)...

Teenage boy, 2-year-old killed in wrong-way crash on Tempe street

A teenage boy and a 2-year-old girl were killed in a wrong-way crash on a Tempe street earlier this week, authorities said.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
‘They’re everything I am’: DACA recipients fear deportation for parents